The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights issued new technical assistance guidance for medical providers that will help people with mobility disabilities obtain accessible medical care. Access to Medical Care for Persons with Mobility Disabilities will assist medical care providers in understanding how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 apply to them. This 19-page document includes an overview of general ADA requirements, commonly asked questions, and illustrated examples of accessible facilities, examination rooms, and medical equipment.
“It is critical that all individuals, including those with disabilities, have access to health care,” Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Thomas E. Perez, was quoted as saying in a Department of Justice press release. “But far too often, barriers prevent people with disabilities from visiting a doctor’s office or a clinic.”
Georgina C. Verdugo, director of HHS’ Office for Civil Rights, added, “Due to barriers, people with disabilities are less likely to receive even basic medical treatment that will prevent routine small problems from turning into major and possibly life threatening ones. This guidance promotes the core values of the healthcare-reform legislation championed by this Administration.”
Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by private hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, and other healthcare providers. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, prohibits disability-based discrimination by all healthcare providers that receive federal financial assistance.
For more information about the ADA or to obtain copies of Access to Medical Care for Individuals with Mobility Disabilities, visit www.ada.gov or call the ADA Information Line at 1.800.514.0301 (V) or 1.800.514.0383 (TTY). For more information about Section 504, visit www.hhs.gov/ocr/